Martin Downs represented Y Local Authority before Mrs Justice Parker in the Court of Protection. The case concerned a learning disabled woman who was encouraged by her family to marry a student subject to immigration control. The civil ceremony went ahead after the Registrar General overruled a caveat (objection) made by the Local Authority despite the fact they had the benefit of a Consultant’s opinion. The couple had a child together.

The Judgment was released just before Christmas and has now been reported. Please click here for the judgment.

Parker J declared that the woman did not have the capacity to marry nor to have sex nor to decide where to live. The Child was placed with the father within the context of care proceedings.

Mrs Justice Parker found that marriages where a spouse lacked capacity were forced marriages and covered by the Forced Marriages Act. She gave guidance to Registrars, the Police and Local Authorities generally and specifically about the utility of Forced Marriage Protection Orders.